Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images
A version of this story was first published by WABE member station.
President Donald Trump called former President Jimmy Carter for the first time this weekend.
Carter revealed this news during his Sunday class at his home church, Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, on Sunday morning. [19659011AtthebeginningofthisyearthepresidentarypresentedContentAbriefThroughoutrecommendationswiththeCommunicationbetweenUSAandChinaCarterheupervisedthenormalizationofdiplomaticrelationshipbetweencountries40yearsago
On Saturday evening, Trump called Carter to speak about it. It was the first time they had spoken, Carter said. He said Trump told him that he was particularly worried about China's "coming up".
Carter said he agrees with Trump on this issue.
"And you know why?" Carter said. "I normalized diplomatic relations with China in 1979. Since 1979, you know how often China was at war with someone – and we stayed at war," he said. (China and Vietnam actually fought in a brief border war in early 1979, weeks after US relations with China had normalized.)
Carter said the United States was "the most bellicose nation in the history of the world" based on a desire Imposing American values in other countries, he suggested that China invest its resources in projects such as high-speed railroads instead of defense spending. "How many miles of high-speed railroads do we have in this country?" 19659011] Zero, the assembly replied.  "I think I wasted $ 3 trillion," Carter said, referring to US military spending. "China has not wasted a single penny on the war, so they're ahead of us. In almost every way.
"And I think the difference is, if you take $ 3 trillion and it's in the American infrastructure, there's $ 2 trillion left, we have a high-speed railroad, we'll have bridges that will not collapse, we'll have roads, Our education system would be as good as that of South Korea or Hong Kong.
"I have not detrimentally compared my country with China," Carter said. "I just pointed that out, because I got a call last night by accident
The former president said he understands that Trump is worried that China may surpass the US as the world's economic superpower.
I'm not afraid of that time, but it annoys President Trump and me I do not know why I'm not criticizing him this morning, "Carter said and laughed from the audience.
The White House confirmed the conversation in a statement released on Monday.
"President Jimmy Carter wrote a nice letter to President Trump about the ongoing negotiations with China, and on Saturday they had a very good phone conversation about President Trump's attitude to trade with China and many other issues," the statement said. not the & # 39; t attributed to the speaker.
Much of Carter's Palm Sunday classes focused on peace and friendliness in front of an audience that consisted mainly of visitors, many of whom had gone to the service overnight.
Last month, Carter became the nation's longest-living president.